Let's be honest. This time of year, there isn't much interest in teaching kids to be healthy eaters. This gives me a chance to have some fun posting about other things that people ARE interested in!
Right now, my most popular post, by far, was one I wrote two years ago: 7 Last Minute Homemade Gifts for Kids.
So, I decided to do it again….
Here are 7 (more) last minute, homemade gifts that kids will love and that you can create with minimal effort, ability, time or money! (Everything used for these was purchased at Dollar Tree-- or were things that I already had around the house.)
"Make Your Own," Magnetic Poetry Kit
Cost: $2-$3 Crafty Abilities: None Time: 15 Minutes
What's more fun than a set of magnetic poetry? A kit to make your own! This way, kids get to choose their own words and then reuse them again and again in new (and amusing) ways.
Materials: Magnetic Tin, Fine Point Sharpie, Magnetic Vent Cover (From Dollar Tree!) Sticky Label or paper and Mod Podge (optional)
- Cut vent cover into strips (mine are 1.25 inches wide) and then cut the strips into varying lengths.
- Make a label for the outside: "Make Your Own" Magnetic Poetry
- Write a few starter words…
- Put all strips and a Sharpie in the tin.
Silly People Dry Erase Pages Fun Pack
Cost: $1-$3 Crafty Abilities: None Time: 10 minutes
*Inspired by: this
Materials: Plastic Sheet Protectors, Plastic Envelope (Could also use a binder), Dry Erase Markers, (optional) microfiber cloth for erasing, Black and White Pictures printed on printer (not photo) paper.
- Print full size photos of people who are special to the child receiving the gift.
- Put pictures in plastic sheet protectors- if putting in a plastic envelope, cut off the end of the sheet protector with the binder holes.
- Assemble all items into plastic envelope.
Coloring Pages Fun Pack
Cost: $0-$3 Crafty Abilities: None Time: 2-10 minutes
Materials: Plastic Envelope, markers, crayons, colored pencils, printer, computer, printer paper
- Check out coloring pages here (the ones I used) or here (a Pinterest board full of fun pages)
- Print as many as you wish. You may choose to use a theme or to print a variety of pages. A few of the links (from the ones I used) have letters… you could choose to do all of the letters in the alphabet or all of the letters in a child's name. You may also choose to do all Christmas pages (I'm doing this and bringing it along to one of our Christmas gatherings for all of the kids.) If the gift is for a boy, I highly, highly recommend the Lego Man coloring pages! My boys will sit for long periods of time coloring these over and over!!
- Put coloring pages and crayons, markers or colored pencils in plastic envelope (mine were two for a dollar at Dollar Tree!)
Cost $0-$1 Crafty Abilities: Minimal Time: 5-20 minutes
Materials: child's sock (long), rubber band, red and black markers, piece of fabric.
- Follow this tutorial on Catholic Icing.
- Follow this idea for swaddling a baby and do the same with your mini-swadde. (My daughter had the idea of making a set of different swaddles to go with a doll.
- Optional, find or make a small bed or basket for the doll. (We made ours from a cardboard box which I cut and taped to size and then covered with brown wrapping paper that came in one of our Amazon boxes!
- Bonus: Check out this basket of babies… then find a basket and make multiple babies for a homemade "Basket of Babies."
"One man's (child's) trash is another child's treasure."
Cost: $0 Crafty Abilities: None Time: ??
Materials: Container to hold the treasures, Collected small items that your children no longer play with or that you no longer have use for…
- Search your toy bins, junk drawers, under the seats of your car ;), Goodwill box, anywhere that little treasures may hide. Those little items that may seem like trash to you or your kids are treasures to another child who has never seen them before… and somehow, they become even more fun when gathered together into a "treasure box."
- Put the items into a container (raid your recycling!)
- Give to another child (or trade… I think that this would make a great pre-school or playgroup swap!)
Letter/ Number/ Word or People Jewels
Cost: $1-$2 Crafty Abilities: Minimal Time: Under an hour
Materials: Magazines, Large Glass Jewels (from Dollar Tree), Bag or pouch, Mod Podge (or homemade Mod Podge)
- Find letters, numbers, and or words in magazines (or for the quick and easy version, create a word doc and print them.) *You may also choose to print pictures and make people jewels- I recommend black and white on printer paper.
- Make sure that the letters are the right size by putting a jewel over the top of it, before cutting.
- Cut out the letters.
- Mod Podge them to the flat side of the jewel by painting Mod Podge on the jewel, laying the letter on the Mod Podge and then painting additional Mod Podge over the top.
- Allow all of the Mod Podge to dry. If you choose, paint over the back with a solid color (I didn't do this, but this will give the back of the jewels a neater appearance.)
- Put the jewels in a a bag or sack. (A little jewelry pouch would be perfect!)
Cost: $1-$2 Crafty Abilities: None Time: ??
Materials: Glass jewels (I used large and small of various colors- again, from Dollar Tree), various (not fragile) bowls, tins, cups, etc.
- Collect or find plastic or metal bowls and containers (I found mine at our local thrift shop)
- Put glass jewels and containers into a container or bag.
- Give to a child and watch them play! (I honestly couldn't drag this away from my child long enough to take a picture of it today!!) *Be aware that these jewels would be a choking hazard. Use your best judgement and make sure to only give it to a child who would not put the jewels in his mouth.